Days out for kids
Great ideas for day trips with the kids near London
Stuck for things to do with the kids? As much as we love London for its museums and attractions, sometimes an excursion is what’s called for, which is why we’ve rounded up fab family days out near the capital. With theme parks, palaces, animal attractions, easy trips to the seaside and great outdoor adventures, we've got the best ideas for things to do with the whole family. Think we've missed a great family day trip outside London? Let us know in the comments box below.
Tiny, sweet and quintessentially English, Leigh-on-Sea is a quiet seaside resort 30 miles east of London and a lovely family day trip. The main street of Old Leigh is lined with cheerful cafés, and on the seafront are cockle sheds and working boats. At the west end, a tiny sandy beach gives way to a muddy gulch when the tide goes out - kids love it, but parents might want to take some spare clothes and a plastic bag for the journey home.
- Essex, SS9 2ET
It's only at high tide that Mersea Island is actually separate from the rest of Essex, when a stretch of the B1025 is submerged beneath the waves and becomes the Strood causeway. Once there, the island is a flat five miles across with plenty of simple pleasures to enjoy. The local farmed flat oysters and Colchester natives are legendary. Next to the oyster farms are boatyards, working fishing boats and yachts in the summer season, as well as sand and shingle beaches.
- Colchester, CO5 8QA
Camber Sands withholds its beauty until the last second - it's hidden beyond a mountain of sand dunes. The beach itself is a vast seven-mile sweep of soft sand that's half a mile wide at low tide. Families enjoy the views from behind their windbreaks and then emerge to build sandcastles or paddle in the sea. The constant breeze also makes it popular with kite boarders and windsurfers, but they are kept within a restricted part of the beach.
- TN31 7RL